Sun 4 Jan 2009
Freddie Mitchell: (hiding in bushes) There he is. Right there by the ice cream stand. (to camera) Alright, y’all. You’re about to get a lesson in Economics 101, courtesy of me, Freddie Mitchell. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the big Ponzi scheme that Mandy Bernard cat pulled on all them Wall Street turkeys. So no doubt you’ve been asking yourself: what is a Ponzi scheme? And how can I use it to get paid? Well, wonder no more, younglings, because Fred-Ex is about to show you a Ponzi scheme in action. All you need is a dummy, and there ain’t no bigger dummy alive today than my man by the ice cream stand, Leon Lett. Now watch and learn. And make sure you keep that camera on me, bro.
(Mitchell emerges from the bushes and walks over to Lett)
Mitchell: Hey, Leon! Leon Lett! What’s up, baby?
Lett: Do I know you?
Mitchell: Ha! Leon, always the joker. It’s me, man! Fred-Ex! Your boy!
Lett: Whatever. You want an autograph or something?
Mitchell: Auto…? Naw, man. I’m here to present you with a business opportunity.
Lett: Beat it.
Mitchell: Easy now, big fella, I feel you. You’re right to be suspicious, especially during these dark economic times and whatnot. But what would you say if I told you that I could take your investment of $1000, and double it within a month?
Lett: I’d say that sounds like bullshit.
Mitchell: Not if you got a plan like mine.
Lett: Oh yeah? What is it?
Mitchell: Alright, check this out. You give me $1000. Then you go out and you find two people to give you $1000. Then you get those people to go out and recruit they own two people, and so on and so forth, until we rolling in the green.
Lett: So…you’re running a pyramid scheme?
Mitchell: Naw, man…(gestures Lett to move closer)…a Ponzi scheme.
Lett: How’s that different?
Mitchell: Because a Ponzi scheme is Italian, man. And you know those people got that scam shit down right.
Lett: I see.
Mitchell: I guess the only question you need to answer is whether you want to get rich.
Lett: Okay. You sold me. I’m in.
Mitchell: (incredulous) You wha…hey hey! My man!
Lett: Let’s get rich, Frankie.
Mitchell: Cool! It’s Freddie, but no matter. Now all I’m going to need you to do is give me a cheque payable to “Comcast Cable Company – Accounts Receivable”…
Mitchell: …and if you could backdate that about six months, you would really be helping me out…
Lett: I just thought of something.
Mitchell: Lay it on me.
Lett: Well…isn’t the whole point of one of these pyramid schemes…
Mitchell: Ponzi scheme.
Lett: Right. Isn’t the whole point of one of these Ponzi schemes to get paid out by someone?
Mitchell: You know it.
Lett: But if you think about it – if you’re at the top of the pyramid, there’s nobobdy to pay you out.
Mitchell: (stares quizzically)
Lett: I mean, I’ve got to pay out the people below me, and they’ve got to pay out the people below them…but nobody pays out the man at the top.
Mitchell: (nodding) You know…you right.
Lett: Course I am. And I don’t think it’s fair that you, the man with the plan, is left out in the cold. Now I may just be a simple guy from Mobile, Alabama, but that don’t strike me as square.
Mitchell: I feel you.
Lett: (pauses) You know what? Here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve been blessed. I’ve got three Super Bowl rings and I made a lot of money during my career. So I’m going to take point on this one. I’ll take the top of the pyramid.
Mitchell: Aw, man, I can’t ask you to…
Lett: You ain’t asking, brother – I’m offering. But I’m no dummy. I need to get my taste too, you feel me?
Mitchell: Of course.
Lett: So I’m going to need $1500 up front for my troubles, as a bridge loan. Now that’s less than your standard arbitrage and, uh, hedge consulting fee, but I like your style.
Mitchell: You do?
Lett: Damn right I do. So what do you say? Do we have a deal?
Mitchell: (big smile) We do indeed, friend!
Lett: Alright. Let’s get you paid. (they hug)
Mitchell: Cool. But, uh, there’s just one little problem, Leon, and it’s a bit embarrassing.
Lett: What’s that?
Mitchell: I’m a bit short on the $1500 at the moment.
Lett: Tsk tsk. How short we talking?
Mitchell: Well…(pulls envelope with ‘RENT’ written on front out of his pocket)…I’ve only got $950 on me.
Lett: Only $950?
Mitchell: Yeah. But we can still do the deal, can’t we?
Lett: Hmm. (strokes chin) Tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to suspend my, er, insolvency inducement fee.
Mitchell: You’d do that?
Lett: Hey, I know you’re good for it. Just don’t be hard to find when your cash starts coming in.
Mitchell: You know I won’t. (hands envelope to Lett)
Lett: Alright, Mr. Ideas Man. (pats Mitchell on shoulder) Be in touch. (starts to walk away)
Mitchell: Say…shouldn’t we exchange phone numbers or something?
Lett: (getting in car) I’ll talk to you soon, Frankie. (drives off)
Mitchell: (looks around suspiciously, pulls second envelope with ‘HYDRO’ written on front out of his pocket) Heh heh. Sucker. (turns to attractive blonde nearby) Say, there, sweet thing. How would you like to share a banana split with an up and coming business tycoon?
Woman: (rolls eyes)
Mitchell: Only problem is, I’m lighter than your beautiful hazel eyes right now, so I’m going to need this one to be on you.
Woman: Get lost, creep. (walks away)
Mitchell: You going to regret that one day, baby!
Mitchell: What the…?
(Policeman approaches, leading Mitchell’s camerman in handcuffs)
Policeman: You are under arrest for attempted fraud.
Policeman: No ‘buts’. We’ve got the whole thing recorded on your own camera. (cuffs Mitchell) You know, I’ve seen some dumb motherfuckers in my lifetime, but I’ve never seen anybody explain a scam to their mark, and give their crime a video introduction.
Mitchell: C’mon, man…
Policeman: And shame on you for targeting Leon Lett. The man’s been through enough already.
Mitchell: Alright, alright. I’ll come quietly. But officer…one request?
Mitchell: Can you delete the part where that lady tossed my game back? That shit gets on YouTube, it could be embarrassing, you feel me?
Policeman: (shakes head) Get in the god damn car.
Freddie Getting Paid: